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illustration Writhen



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Old English, 14th century


(Literary) Twisted or contorted out of normal shape or form.


(Of antique glass or silver) Having spirally twisted ornamentation.

Examples of Writhen in a sentence

"The glassblower twisted a unique writhen ornamentation on each vase he created."

"It must have taken the carpenter weeks to carve this writhen banister."

About Writhen

The adjective “writhen” is based on the Old English verb “wriþan,” meaning “to twist” or “to wrap up.”

Did you Know?

“Writhen,” which describes twisted ornamentation, is closely related to the verb “writhe.” But “writhen” existed first, taken directly from an Old English word meaning “to twist,” “to bind,” or “to wrap up.” From it came the verb “to writhe,” which in its early definitions meant “to engulf” or “to tie up.” Over time, “writhe” came to describe a physical twisting or contorting motion, while today “writhen” describes objects designed to appear twisted and contorted, such as art and stemware made from twirled blown glass.

illustration Writhen

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